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If We Had Followed This Plan, We’d Be Living on Mars By Now

If you think Curiosity is exciting, imagine where we could have been if someone had put these guys in charge

smithsonian.com

Ever wanted to go to space? Well you’re certainly not alone. But you’re also almost certainly not as prepared as Rockwell International was in 1989.

They have a huge, insanely detailed map of just what it would take to get us there. 1983 saw the first generation of reusable space craft. During 1998, we were supposed to firm up our propulsion systems and start with the interplanetary expansion. In 2008, we were supposed to have a lunar outpost established.

Next year, in 2013, we should be expanding an international lunar base and a lunar space port. We’re also supposed to begin the phase in which the “biplanetary civilization evolves to exploit extraterrestrial resources.” In 2018 we expand into the inner solar system and develop large scale economic and industrial activity in space. And in 2033 we’ve got a self-supporting Mars base.

You can explore the whole, huge map here. And learn how about Sean Ragan was able to track it down and post it at Make.

If you think Curiosity is exciting, well, imagine where we could have been if someone had put Rockwell in charge.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Curiosity’s Journey to Mars
Dirty Curiosity Rover Could Seed Mars With Earthly Bacteria

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About Rose Eveleth
Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth is a writer for Smart News and a producer/designer/ science writer/ animator based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, Story Collider, TED-Ed and OnEarth.

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